U.S. Senate and CIA agree torture program was mismanaged

Scorpion

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U.S. Senate and CIA agree torture program was mismanaged


The Senate report on the CIA's interrogation program and the spy agency's official response clash on almost every aspect of the long-secret operation, including the brutality and effectiveness of its methods and the agency's secret dealings with the Bush White House, Congress and the media. Both reports largely agree on one major CIA failure: the agency's mismanagement of the now-shuttered program.

The 525-page summary from the Senate Intelligence Committee paints a chaotic landscape of bureaucratic dysfunction, showing an agency unprepared to take control of terrorist prisoners, unqualified field interrogators who overstepped their legal authority and CIA bosses ignorant about exactly how many detainees were warehoused in their overseas prisons. CIA oversight, the Senate committee found, "was deeply flawed throughout the program's duration."

The CIA agrees in its official response that "the agency made serious missteps in the management and operation of the program." But it said the breakdowns came in the program's early days and that internal changes corrected much of the disarray before President George W. Bush ordered the "black site" prisons emptied in 2006.

The divide over the depth of the CIA's management failures reflects a long-standing history of conflict between the agency and its critics over how mistakes should be corrected - and whether reforms should come from within or be forced from outside.

The committee's chairwoman, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, said the panel aimed to "ensure coercive interrogation practices are not used by our government again." The agency has proposed a series of changes that would more tightly monitor its covert action programs, but CIA Director John Brennan has been less clear about whether the agency would ever again use interrogation techniques that President Barack Obama calls torture.

"We are not contemplating at all getting back into the detention program," Brennan said at a recent news conference. But he added that the agency would "defer to the policymakers."

The most glaring human evidence of mismanagement cited by the committee is its description of the agency's wrongful detention of at least 26 prisoners and CIA officials' inability to account for 44 detainees held in one overseas prison facility. The report cites the prison only as "Detention Site Cobalt," but former U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive material identified it as the agency's now-abandoned dungeon in Afghanistan known as the "Salt Pit."

The Senate report cites the high-profile case of Khalid al-Masri, a Lebanese man living in Germany who was grabbed in 2003 by Macedonian authorities and handed over to U.S. officials on erroneous suspicions of terrorist ties. Al-Masri was flown to the Salt Pit, where he was subjected to abusive interrogation tactics and held for months until his captors turned him loose on an Albanian road in April 2004. He sued the U.S. government unsuccessfully in American courts but won compensation from Macedonia in a 2012 judgment by the European Court of Human Rights.

The Senate report said the al-Masri case was only the most well-known of nearly a dozen instances where "officers at CIA headquarters continued to fail to properly monitor justifications for the capture and detention of detainees."

The agency agreed that mistaken detentions "remain a blemish on CIA's record of interpreting and working within its terrorism authorities." But the CIA questioned the Senate's numbers and said that internal reforms tightened oversight.

"CIA acknowledges that it detained at least six individuals who failed to meet the proper standard for detention," the agency wrote. It said some detainees counted by the Senate were not part of the CIA's program.

The Senate report said CIA cables and memos showed that agency headquarters officials were stunned in 2003 to learn that they had 44 previously unreported detainees in one prison - also identified by the former officials as the Salt Pit. All of the detainees had been held in solitary confinement for months and many had no known intelligence value. The report says most were later released, with some given CIA compensation.

Both reports blame poor record-keeping, particularly the lack of documents justifying each suspect's detention. The CIA agreed that "many of the appropriate records are either absent or inadequate, especially during the 2002-2003 period." But the agency said that standards tightened, adding that the Senate report "tars CIA's entire (detention and interrogation) effort with the mistakes of the first months."

The Senate report said mismanagement ran the duration of the program. The committee said the CIA failed to assess the effectiveness of its coercive tactics, lacked enough linguists to interpret for some detainees, repeatedly used interrogators who were untrained with a history of violence and did little to discipline interrogators and officers in cases that included overstepping guidelines and the 2002 death of a Salt Pit detainee.

In each case, the CIA acknowledged problems, but said it either made corrections or suggested the Senate committee overstated its evidence.

Some CIA veterans said there were no apparent signs of mismanagement inside the agency's Langley headquarters at the time.

"You know there are problems with a major program if it gets talked about in the hallways. That was not something I heard at the time," said Robert Wallace, a former senior CIA executive who headed the agency's Office of Technical Services before retiring in 2004.

Other former CIA veterans said hints of chaos made the rounds in overseas stations.

"We heard through the grapevine that these things were being done," said Charles Faddis, a former CIA counterterrorism veteran. He said he agreed with the overall thrust of the report's major criticisms but said the Senate should have kept the document secret.

Faddis, who was posted in Iraq during that post-9/11 period and now heads Orion Strategic Services, a national security consulting firm, said that he told colleagues in Iraq they had to adhere to long-standing guidelines forbidding physical coercion when questioning Iraqi detainees.

"I told them it doesn't matter what you're hearing," he said, "these are the rules and that's the way it is."

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/New...CIA-agree-torture-program-was-mismanaged.html
 
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I'm surprised they didn't figure this out earlier, this has been known for years but they were not up for implementing other means of how to do things properly. They have been using up and overdoing their power for years now. Glad they finally noticed it though, maybe they'll do better.
 
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U.S. Senate and CIA agree torture program was mismanaged


The Senate report on the CIA's interrogation program and the spy agency's official response clash on almost every aspect of the long-secret operation, including the brutality and effectiveness of its methods and the agency's secret dealings with the Bush White House, Congress and the media. Both reports largely agree on one major CIA failure: the agency's mismanagement of the now-shuttered program.

The 525-page summary from the Senate Intelligence Committee paints a chaotic landscape of bureaucratic dysfunction, showing an agency unprepared to take control of terrorist prisoners, unqualified field interrogators who overstepped their legal authority and CIA bosses ignorant about exactly how many detainees were warehoused in their overseas prisons. CIA oversight, the Senate committee found, "was deeply flawed throughout the program's duration."

The CIA agrees in its official response that "the agency made serious missteps in the management and operation of the program." But it said the breakdowns came in the program's early days and that internal changes corrected much of the disarray before President George W. Bush ordered the "black site" prisons emptied in 2006.

The divide over the depth of the CIA's management failures reflects a long-standing history of conflict between the agency and its critics over how mistakes should be corrected - and whether reforms should come from within or be forced from outside.

The committee's chairwoman, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, said the panel aimed to "ensure coercive interrogation practices are not used by our government again." The agency has proposed a series of changes that would more tightly monitor its covert action programs, but CIA Director John Brennan has been less clear about whether the agency would ever again use interrogation techniques that President Barack Obama calls torture.

"We are not contemplating at all getting back into the detention program," Brennan said at a recent news conference. But he added that the agency would "defer to the policymakers."

The most glaring human evidence of mismanagement cited by the committee is its description of the agency's wrongful detention of at least 26 prisoners and CIA officials' inability to account for 44 detainees held in one overseas prison facility. The report cites the prison only as "Detention Site Cobalt," but former U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive material identified it as the agency's now-abandoned dungeon in Afghanistan known as the "Salt Pit."

The Senate report cites the high-profile case of Khalid al-Masri, a Lebanese man living in Germany who was grabbed in 2003 by Macedonian authorities and handed over to U.S. officials on erroneous suspicions of terrorist ties. Al-Masri was flown to the Salt Pit, where he was subjected to abusive interrogation tactics and held for months until his captors turned him loose on an Albanian road in April 2004. He sued the U.S. government unsuccessfully in American courts but won compensation from Macedonia in a 2012 judgment by the European Court of Human Rights.

The Senate report said the al-Masri case was only the most well-known of nearly a dozen instances where "officers at CIA headquarters continued to fail to properly monitor justifications for the capture and detention of detainees."

The agency agreed that mistaken detentions "remain a blemish on CIA's record of interpreting and working within its terrorism authorities." But the CIA questioned the Senate's numbers and said that internal reforms tightened oversight.

"CIA acknowledges that it detained at least six individuals who failed to meet the proper standard for detention," the agency wrote. It said some detainees counted by the Senate were not part of the CIA's program.

The Senate report said CIA cables and memos showed that agency headquarters officials were stunned in 2003 to learn that they had 44 previously unreported detainees in one prison - also identified by the former officials as the Salt Pit. All of the detainees had been held in solitary confinement for months and many had no known intelligence value. The report says most were later released, with some given CIA compensation.

Both reports blame poor record-keeping, particularly the lack of documents justifying each suspect's detention. The CIA agreed that "many of the appropriate records are either absent or inadequate, especially during the 2002-2003 period." But the agency said that standards tightened, adding that the Senate report "tars CIA's entire (detention and interrogation) effort with the mistakes of the first months."

The Senate report said mismanagement ran the duration of the program. The committee said the CIA failed to assess the effectiveness of its coercive tactics, lacked enough linguists to interpret for some detainees, repeatedly used interrogators who were untrained with a history of violence and did little to discipline interrogators and officers in cases that included overstepping guidelines and the 2002 death of a Salt Pit detainee.

In each case, the CIA acknowledged problems, but said it either made corrections or suggested the Senate committee overstated its evidence.

Some CIA veterans said there were no apparent signs of mismanagement inside the agency's Langley headquarters at the time.

"You know there are problems with a major program if it gets talked about in the hallways. That was not something I heard at the time," said Robert Wallace, a former senior CIA executive who headed the agency's Office of Technical Services before retiring in 2004.

Other former CIA veterans said hints of chaos made the rounds in overseas stations.

"We heard through the grapevine that these things were being done," said Charles Faddis, a former CIA counterterrorism veteran. He said he agreed with the overall thrust of the report's major criticisms but said the Senate should have kept the document secret.

Faddis, who was posted in Iraq during that post-9/11 period and now heads Orion Strategic Services, a national security consulting firm, said that he told colleagues in Iraq they had to adhere to long-standing guidelines forbidding physical coercion when questioning Iraqi detainees.

"I told them it doesn't matter what you're hearing," he said, "these are the rules and that's the way it is."

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/New...CIA-agree-torture-program-was-mismanaged.html
They're just coming out with this information. It is no secret at this point. Torture programs where mismanaged and I'm sure it was for a reason.
 
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LOL, really? The fact is that with terrorism everyone panicked and started to adopt uncivilized practices. I am not saying that they didn't save lives, but do all the means justify the ends?
 
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LOL, really? The fact is that with terrorism everyone panicked and started to adopt uncivilized practices. I am not saying that they didn't save lives, but do all the means justify the ends?
I agree everyone panicked, and that also caused us to focus away from the real problem, our homeland has so much corruption it's ridiculous. We have civil and moral issues that need to be addressed and fixed. Injustice is worse when it's covered up, and most of the people here in the US are totally blind to the facts, Distracted by the new gadgets, and TV. The war starts at home.
 

Sean Lich

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LOL, really? The fact is that with terrorism everyone panicked and started to adopt uncivilized practices. I am not saying that they didn't save lives, but do all the means justify the ends?
This is almost exactly what I was thinking. The fact they have to let us, the people, know that TORTURING someone is bit shaky moral wise, just goes to show how smart they think the average person is.
 
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Yeah, the fact that after if became public they didn't come forward and simple say, we panicked and we screwed things up, but instead tried to justify it with conceptual explanations was ridiculous.
 
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#9
Torture is a crime under International Law, however it's hard to enforce. Everyone knew what was going on, but who could prove it and who was going to reprimand the USA? Were they following orders which were illegal? The answer is likely to be 'yes', but they still carried on because they were told to. When those orders come from the top, there is no where else to appeal to.

Not everything has been revealed, only what they cannot deny. They cannot escape the fact what they did was morally wrong.
 
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Torture is a crime under International Law, however it's hard to enforce. Everyone knew what was going on, but who could prove it and who was going to reprimand the USA? Were they following orders which were illegal? The answer is likely to be 'yes', but they still carried on because they were told to. When those orders come from the top, there is no where else to appeal to.

Not everything has been revealed, only what they cannot deny. They cannot escape the fact what they did was morally wrong.
Totally agree with you.

Generally , we can say the torture is placed on the table as a last solution .
 
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#11
"We heard through the grapevine that these things were being done," said Charles Faddis, a former CIA counterterrorism veteran. He said he agreed with the overall thrust of the report's major criticisms but said the Senate should have kept the document secret.
He believes that they should have kept the report secret? I think this shows the prevailing idea in the CIA and other intelligence agencies that the public can't be trusted to make decisions, even on issues with far reaching moral consequences that reflect on the country as a whole.

If they had been more transparent with their records, then the poor record keeping and lack of proper documentation would have been called out far earlier. Secrecy on this level allows for mismanagement and reckless decisions, because decision-makers think they'll get away it.
 
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Torture is a crime under International Law, however it's hard to enforce. Everyone knew what was going on, but who could prove it and who was going to reprimand the USA? Were they following orders which were illegal? The answer is likely to be 'yes', but they still carried on because they were told to. When those orders come from the top, there is no where else to appeal to.

Not everything has been revealed, only what they cannot deny. They cannot escape the fact what they did was morally wrong.
Definitely not. We only know about a fraction of what has gone on and I imagine this recent admission is merely an exercise in damage limitation.
 
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I agree everyone panicked, and that also caused us to focus away from the real problem, our homeland has so much corruption it's ridiculous. We have civil and moral issues that need to be addressed and fixed. Injustice is worse when it's covered up, and most of the people here in the US are totally blind to the facts, Distracted by the new gadgets, and TV. The war starts at home.
I couldn't agree more with you. Mass communication is the new "miscommunication" for mind control. I hope everybody sees this as well. They trust the news so much when it is easily bended and manipulated. Everything is a distraction from material things and corporate goods, so people won't really see what's going on out here.
 
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#14
Torture would never work. Somebody getting tortured will say anything to stop the pain. I'm glad this report got it making it official what we did to the terrorists.
 
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#15
When you start acting like the enemy you become the enemy. There are many ways that you can get information out of a person without having to use torture. I believe that intelligence that some of these detainees have is valuable and needs to be ascertained by the United States but at the end of the day, that is still a person you are waterboarding, starving, sleep depriving or whatever other means you are using to get the information.

There has to be a better way. Doesn't there?